Social Judgment & Behavioral Decision Making



Making sound and accurate decisions is vital to the well-being of individuals and social groups. People must decide whom to befriend and whom to avoid, they must estimate their suitability for various career options and choose environments that are best suited to their needs and capabilities, and they are frequently in the position of evaluating other's characteristics and capabilities, such as when forming personality impressions, diagnosing physical and psychological disorders, or making personnel decisions.

The members of the social judgment and decision making section, therefore, are interested in how judgments are formed as well as how they are translated into choices and actions. Among the topics we investigate are legal, organizational, and medical decision making, the influence of personal values and preferences on judgments of others, the ways in which characteristics of perceivers (e.g., their mood) and the people perceived (e.g., their race) influence the way ongoing behavior is organized, the process by which people achieve and maintain several goals in dynamic and complex environments, as well as more basic judgment and decision making processes such as numerical estimation, probabilistic judgment, and the formation and expression of preferences and choices.


Clinics and Laboratories

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  • Mark Alicke, Ph.D. (University of North Carolina, 1984),
    - Research interests include role of the self in social judgment and in the processes by which negative evaluations of people and their behavior are translated into judgments of blame and the imposition of sanctions.
  • Frank Bellezza, Ph.D. (University of Minnesota, 1970),
    - Research interests include general-processing-tree (multinomial) models to explain the functioning of human memory.
  • Bruce Carlson, Ph.D. (University of Michigan, 1984),
    Associate Professor
    - Research interests include numerical estimation and judgment, the representation of numbers, conceptions of chance and randomness.
  • Claudia Gonzalez-Vallejo, Ph.D. (University of North Carolina, 1992),
    Associate Professor
    - Research interests include judgment and decision making with emphasis in mathematical modeling of choice and judgment behavior, including applications of judgment and decision-making research to medical decision making and public policy.

  • Jennifer Howell, Ph.D. (University of Florida),Assistant Professor - Research interests include the self, decision-making, responding to threatening feedback, and health.   

  • Rodger W. Griffeth, Ph.D. (University of South Carolina, 1981),
    Professor and Byham Chair of Industrial/Organizational Psychology
    - Research interests include organizational turnover and human resource systems.
  • Dan Lassiter, Ph.D. (University of Virginia, 1984),
    - Research interests include the nature of social perception processes, specifically how people come to organize and comprehend the information contained in another person's ongoing stream of behavior.
  • Keith Markman, Ph.D. (Indiana University, 1994),
    Associate Professor
    - Research interests include motivated social cognition and social judgment and decision-making, specifically counterfactual thinking - the generation of imagined alternatives to reality. A second line of research explores the processes that underlie social predictions and the debiasing effects of considering multiple alternatives and perspectives.

  • Kimberly Rios, Ph.D. (Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2008),
    Assistant Professor - Research focuses on people’s responses to threats to their self-concepts, interpersonal relationships, or group identities. Examples of such threats include being uncertain about oneself or one’s attitudes, being socially excluded, and perceiving an outgroup to threaten the ingroup’s power/resources or fundamental values.
  • Jeffrey B. Vancouver, Ph.D. (Michigan State University, 1989),
    - Research interests include interactional psychology and systems theory, person-organization fit, goal constructs in psychology, multilevel analysis, motivation, research methodology.

  • Ronaldo Vigo, Ph.D. (Indiana University at Bloomington, 2008),
    Associate Professor - Research interests include cognitive research with focus on the development of mathematical and computational models of concept learning and categorization behavior.